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February 21, 2024

Market News

California will finally get a break from the rain as the storm system
moves off to the east today. Warmer temperatures look to continue in
the Desert regions with morning lows remaining above frost levels into
next week. This will help with recovery and growth rates in the area
hampered by previous rains and very cold mornings this week.
The strawberry growing regions of Southern California (Oxnard) received
an additional 2-4 inches of rain from the recent storms. Growers will
continue stripping and cleaning up fields this week. The plants remain
strong with good fruit sets and flowers currently.
Recent weather patterns have impacted supplies and overall quality in
many of the leafy green crops with iceberg currently in light supply for
the near term. The hailstorm has caused significant damage to some
iceberg acreage as well as other crops in the region. Iceberg, romaine
and leafy green fields continue to exhibit epidermal peeling, blistering
and rib discoloration along with increasing reports of weak tip, tip burn,
mildew and disease showing up lessening yields in the fields. (See
attached picture of disease in iceberg)
Harvesting crews will be trimming out the outer leaves in an effort to
reduce these defects in the box resulting in a smaller head size along
with lighter color and carton weights. These supplies will likely continue
to show some premature pinking along the rib that tends to show up
during transit and storage. Processed leafy green items will also likely
see an increase in this pinking showing up in the bag.
The spring mix and tender leaf items will continue to show some
yellowing and discoloration along with weaker texture and lesser shelf
life due to the rains, hail and morning frost conditions in the region.
Broccoli fields are seeing increasing amounts of large beads and slightly
loose crowns along with some knuckling/branchy crowns in current
supplies. Cauliflower supplies are showing generally white to creamy
color with occasional discoloration and mold spotting at pack out.
It is important to keep your rotations in check as the overall quality and
shelf life of most crops will be challenged. We will keep an eye on the
upcoming weather and the impact on the various crops to keep you up
to date as we gather more information.

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